Thursday, November 21, 2019

World Congress on Leptospirosis held at ICMR-RMRC, Port Blair

Port Blair, Nov 20: The Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) Port Blair, World Health Organisation (WHO) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) jointly organised a two day World Congress on Leptospirosis at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Auditorium of RMRC on Nov 18 & 19, 2019. The event was formally inaugurated on Nov 18 in the conference hall of RMRC, Port Blair.
Addressing the inaugural function, Dr. Nhu Nguyen Tran Minh, Team Leader at WHO Country Office, India World Health Organization, said that the WHO is looking forward to the documentation of the outcome of the congress that will be drafted at the end of congress. He said that a special session was conducted to get suggestions of delegates from various countries regarding the current burden of leptospirosis in their respective countries and on management of leptospirosis.
Dr. John Timony of Kentucky University, who chaired the inaugural function, suggested that a document collating all the recommendations of the congress may be brought out as "Port Blair Declarations on Leptospirosis".
Dr. Marga Goris of the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), Amsterdam, the Netherlands, told that the International Society will take appropriate action based on the experiences on addressing the challenge of leptospirosis shared by the delegates during the sessions.
Dr. P. Vijayachari welcomed all the delegates and spoke on the genesis and importance of the congress in the context of the global climate change and the increasing frequency of extreme weather events.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Shiv Shanker Singh, Senior Medical Consultant, G.B. Pant Hospital said that the RMRC not only identified the cause of Andaman Haemorrhagic Fever as Leptospira but has made tremendous contributions in understanding various diseases such as Dengue, Chikungunya and pandemic Influenza in the islands. The Congress will conclude today and will be followed by an International Training Workshop on Laboratory Methods on Leptospirosis, in which participants from several Southeast Asian countries are participating. 
Sixty eight delegates are participating in the congress, which includes 23 delegates are from 11 countries viz. USA, Brazil, The Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Iran, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand and 16 national experts.

Shri Kuldeep shares his vision for A&N Islands' development

Port Blair, Nov 20: As part of National Press Day celebration, all media persons were felicitated on Nov 17, 2019 by Cooperative Sector, A&N islands at a function at Megapode Resort, Port Blair.
Speaking on the occasion as chief guest, Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma, Member of Parliament and Chairman, Project Coordination Committee, National Cooperative Union of India said, media here has been contributing immensely in the progress and development by way of disseminating useful and relevant information. It has been bringing issues concerning the people lands before the society, system and administration which the authorities strive to resolve. In its bid to pay back their dues, since last 2-3 years, the Cooperative Sector has been felicitating the media persons for their outstanding contributions in the society at large, he said. He also narrated about how cooperative sector has been striving to bring positive changes in the society and help improve the life of the people of the islands. He said that as a Member of Parliament, he has been focusing on four vital issues. The first being water which he said is an important component of life. He has submitted proposals to the UT administration on enhancing the water storage capacity. He stated that while UTs like Delhi provides water to crores of people with marginal rainfall, we have not been unable to provide adequate quantity of water to a population of around 4 lakh despite receiving more than 3000 mm of rainfall annually.  "I have always wished people of these islands should get adequate and quality water 24x7 round the year. In the past, I proposed development of catchment areas from Buniyadabad to Dundus Point Jetty so as to ensure optimal use of rainwater. Similarly, water supply projects at Flat Bay, Rutland, Phongy Balu should be expedited. All these sources can be connected with pipelines so that water can be supplied to any region that experiences water shortage. Construction of rain water reservoirs, lakes, ponds etc in different parts of these islands will also help solve this problem to a great extent. Tapping water sources in Great Nicobar Island can also generate employment if water is exported to dry States like Chennai and supplied to cargo ships passing through the Malacca Straits as per their requirement. Even water can be transported to areas like Diglipur by laying pipelines from Port Blair to Diglipur.
The other important sector is tourism which has tremendous growth potential to generate employment. However, promotion of tourism hugely depends on availability of abundance water. Tourism can generate both revenue and employment if the water issue is resolved and our Islands become a surplus water State. Improvement in the health sector is also a focus area for the Member of Parliament. He is of the view that despite adequate funds, the Health sector here still needs massive improvement. Health sector in the islands can be improved only when each and every health centre, spread across the islands are provided with proper health care facilities, latest and innovative technology, health care equipments, staff & doctors. Improvement in the sports sector is another focus area, the Member of Parliament is working on. He said that there is a need to generate the interest of the youth towards sports and games. In view of the facts that the younger generations are more inclined towards drugs and banned substances, more sports infrastructure facilities should be created so that more and more youth can be motivated towards sports and games. He also informed that he has provided funds under MPLAD for renovation and repair of three stadiums in the Islands. He said the development of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands can be possible only when the islands have its own Legislative Assembly. Unless until a Legislative Assembly is formed in the islands. He further informed that he has placed three bills pertaining to the development of the islands for discussion in this session of Parliament.

National Press Day celebrated befittingly in isles

Port Blair, Nov 20: The Directorate of Information, Publicity and Tourism, A & N Administration along with the local media fraternity celebrated National Press Day at Megapode Resort on Nov 16, 2019. The programme was begun with a fabulous welcome song by the students of RGT Public School.
Meanwhile, a seminar on the topic 'Reporting-Interpretation: A Journey' was organized on the occasion. The Secretary, IP&T, Dr Pooja Joshi was the chief guest of the function, while the Director, IP&T, Dr. Angel Bhati Chauhan and Deputy Director, PIB, Port Blair, Mr Nilesh Kumar Kalbhor graced the occasion as the guests of honor.
Greeting the media fraternity, Dr Pooja Joshi, said that freedom of press is essence of a vibrant democracy. "Since the country's independence, the media has been playing a vital role. The theme for this year's celebration not only applies for the media but for the society as a whole. There should be a difference between view and viewpoint," she said. Mr Nilesh Kumar Kalbhor also spoke on the occasion.

A&N Islands bags Runners-up Conde Nast Traveler India Readers Travel Awards-2019

Port Blair, Nov 20: The Andaman & Nicobar Islands has bagged the Runners-up Conde Nast Traveller India Readers Travel Awards-2019 in the emerging destination category. At the 9th Conde Nast Traveller India Readers Travel Awards-2019, held at ITC Maurya, New Delhi yesterday (Nov.19, 2019), the Jt. Residence Commissioner, A & N Administration, Shri Kuldip Singh Thakur received the award on behalf of the Administration.
The ceremony was witnessed by several eminent personalities, who are in the field of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Health, Trade and Investment from India and Foreign countries. The Runners-up award conferred to the Andaman & Nicobar Administration will promote the Islands as the most sought after tourism destination not only in India but in foreign countries as well.
The Conde Nast Traveller Readers' Travel Awards are considered the 'Oscars of Travel' in Indian Travels and hospitality industry for good reason. Their readers are the most discerning travelers out there and they recognize the best of the best. This Excellence Awards reflects the fact that travel is impacted by so many different forces i.e. art, culture, the conservation of our nature and heritage.
The Annual Conde Nast Traveller Readers' Travel Awards has set the benchmarks in the hospitality and travel industry year on year, since its inception in 1989 in the United States of America.
The Readers' Travel Award-2019 winners will be featured in Conde Nast Traveller India's December 2019 - January 2020 issue.

ANC organises MSMC at Kamorta

Port Blair, Nov 20: As part of the Navy Week 2019 celebrations, the Navy Component under the aegis of Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) organised a Multi-Speciality Medical Camp (MSMC) recently at Kamorta Island. The camp was jointly conducted by INHS Dhanvantari and INS Kardip, in coordination with Community Health Centre (CHC), Nancowrie group of islands. The camp was inaugurated by Cdr Phani Kumar Nandedla, Commanding Officer, INS Kardip.
A group of five specialists including Dental Surgeon, Psychiatrist, Medical Specialist, Paediatrician and Ophthalmologist, along with the Medical Officer of INS Kardip and two medical sailors from INHS Dhanvantari, conducted a multi-speciality clinic for the local population of the island of Kamorta. The Medical Specialist and Paediatrician also reviewed the admitted patients of the CHC and offered their expert advice on treatment. The camp met with an enthusiastic response from the locals, and the CHC received over 100 patients.

IGNOU Celebrated Foundation Day

Port Blair, Nov 20: The Indira Gandhi National Open University - Regional Centre, Port Blair has celebrated the 34th Foundation Day of the University on the Birthday of Smt. Indira Gandhi, 19th November. Smt. Jolly Sarkar, Head of the Programme, Doordarshan Kendra, Port Blair was the Chief Guest and given special lecture on learning from Audio-Video media. She has appreciated the efforts of Regional Centre for organizing Saturday Video Classes very regularly. The Guest of Honor Shri Mohd. Tarique Shah, District Youth Coordinator, Nehru Yuva Kendra, Port Blair has shared his experiences on development of National Integration through NYK. Shri Ravinder Rao, Head of the Centre of Art of Living, Dollygunj, has emphasized the role of Yoga and Meditation in promoting the learning process of students. The Assistant Regional Director, Dr. TR Satyakeerthy has made a power point presentation of two years successful completion of Saturday Video Classes at Regional Centre, Port Blair. He has highlighted the participation of 355 students (in 2-years) of various academic courses through 104 Saturday Video Classes. The Centre has displayed the details of academic programmes offered in A&N Islands through banners, standees at the entrance of the Regional Centre. An exhibition of IGNOU study material, publicity material has been displayed at the reception hall of the ground floor at RC.
The Regional Director Dr. S Ganesan has highlighted the future plan of Regional Centre to have IGNOU camp office centre at VKZPV, Port Mout and Bambooflat. Such centres will function weekly once and the IGNOU staff will attend and provide admission counseling to general public/ parents/ students. He also shared the future strategies of using the services of teachers/ subject experts who are visiting Port Bair as Tourist, to enrich the Island students academically. The 'IGNOU - Ambassadors' from various schools presented their essays on the 'Role of Smt. Indira Gandhi in development of Education'. Participation Certificate was distributed to the school students as token of appreciation and association. IGNOU students, parents of school children, Head of the Institutes of various offices have also participated in the function. Smt. Sangita Mandal, Assistant has conveyed the vote of thanks for the Guests and participants, a communication from the Regional Director, IGNOU RC, Port Blair said.

Dept. of S&T to engage volunteers to raise awareness on Waste Management

Port Blair, Nov 20: The Department of Science and Technology will be engaging interested persons willing to raise awareness about waste management and ill effects of plastic by way of workshops, beach clean ups, and other activities with local people/tourists. This is in line with the Administration's efforts towards making these Islands trash and plastic free.
The selected volunteers will also be given training on the subject of waste management by SWM Consultant, Ms. Garima Poonia. The idea is to engage young minds and passionate people to create solutions for the problem of plastic and trash.
As of now, only 20 seats are available for the first batch of volunteers in South Andaman District. From these, the best and most committed volunteers will be felicitated. Depending on performance, some may also be given the opportunity to apply for empanelment as Para Legal Volunteers with the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), possibly involving a monetary incentive.
The eligibility criteria are minimum age: 18+, education: 10th pass. Interested applicants may visit the official website of Department of Science and Technology for more information. Selection shall be through walk in interviews in the office of SWM Consultant in the Secretariat Complex on Wednesdays and Thursdays, between 3 pm and 4 pm. Applicants have been requested to call on 9531870145 on the same day to fix prior appointment.

Pre-Application Conference at Kochi for Eco-tourism Projects in Lakshadweep Islands and A & N Islands

Kochi/ Port Blair, Nov 20: The UT Administration of Lakshadweep Islands organized a pre-application conference for three eco-tourism projects in Lakshadweep in Minicoy Island, Suheli Island and Kadmat Island and four eco-tourism projects in Andaman in Long Island, Smith Island, Aves Island and Saheed Dweep, today at SAJ Eco-Resort in Kochi.
The response to the pre-application conference indicated positive interest for the projects among potential investors. Some of the potential investors and stakeholders present in today's conference are Twenty Fourteen Holding (Lulu Group), CGH Earth, Mahindra Holidays, Abad Hotels and Resorts, Key Select Hotels, Paul Resorts, RASHI Eco-tourism Ltd., Sterling Holidays, Oberoi Realty, Radisson Group.
The renowned personality, Mr. Prahlad Kakkar, associated with Lakshadweep islands for more than 20 years through the institute Lacadives, India's Premier Sports Diving Organization set up by him in Lakshadweep, also attended the pre-application conference and provided his inputs for the projects.
The Mr. Shreeshail Malge, Director, MHA, Mr. Kulanand Joshi, MD, Andaman & Nicobar Islands Integrated Development Corporation (ANIIDCO), and Mr. S. Asker Ali, MD, SPORTS, Lakshadweep presented project propositions, responded to the queries raised by stakeholders during the conference. It was clearly emphasized by respective UT Administrations that the objective is to create high end tourism destinations in an environmentally sustainable manner so that the ecology of the islands is fully protected. It was also emphasized that tourism activities in those islands will be governed by carrying capacity of the islands estimated by the government. Administrations of UTs will play proactive role as facilitators for development of these eco-tourism resorts.
Director (ANL), Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India endorsed the presentations made by the Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep Administrations and termed the initiative as a step forward toward holistic development of the islands.
The pre-qualification applications are due on December 5, 2019 and December 11, 2019 for Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar island projects respectively.  After a detailed feasibility study and investor's consultations over a period of one year, Request for Qualification (RFQ) documents of these eco-tourism projects were issued for PPP procurement in the month of October 2019.

Villagers stage protest demonstration against proposed acquisition of land for Airport-II

TMI Correspondent
Port Blair, Nov 13: Hundreds of villagers from Burma Nallah and other villages staged a protest demonstration today against the proposed move by the Andaman & Nicobar Administration for acquisition of land from Pema Junction to Burma Nallah, purportedly for construction of Airport-II and other development purpose.
According to Smt. Bhanumathi, President, Barmanallah Village Welfare Committee, from these particular villages most of the milk is supplied to the entire Port Blair city and if they lose the land it will be difficult for them to establish again, and there are many people in these villages who are doing agriculture and their only source of income is depends on ancestral piece of land. "The people of Burma Nallah and its adjoining villages have toiled hard for several years to finally settle down in the area. Now how does the administration expect us to be driven out of this place and start a life afresh," she exclaimed. "There is no way that we can be cowed down and we will not accept any alternative even at the cost of our life," Bhanumathi declared.
According to reports, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, South Andaman came to the spot with the map and assured to provide adequate compensation to villagers against acquisition of land, which instead fumed the protest. Later in the evening, DySP Ajay Rai came to the protest demonstration spot, and after fixing an appointment of the villagers to meet the Secretary of the Lt Governor for 14/11/2019, the protest was called off.

550th Birth Anniversary of Shri Guru Nanak Devji

As part of 550th Birth Anniversary of Shri Guru Nanak Devji, the Chairperson Andaman and Nicobar State Social Welfare Board, Dr. Poonam Arora has inaugurated a photo exhibition at Khalsa Public SSS, Gurudwara Lane, Port Blair on Nov 11, 2019 organized by The Field of Outreach Bureau, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, GoI. Office bearers and members of Management Committee of Dr. Diwan Singh Gurudwara, Dr. Sarabjeet Kaur Jagpal, Principal Khalsa Public Senior Secondary School, members of media fraternity and many islanders were present on the occasion. In the photo exhibition, the life history of Shri Guru Nanak Devji, and His pravachans which are still valid even after 550 years in the modern era, are on display.

ALHW to complete Dry Dock Extension project by August 2021

TMI Correspondent
Port Blair, Nov 13: A delegation of the Andaman Nicobar Media Federation (ANMF) has visited the project site of Dry Dock Extension at Marine Dockyard on Nov 9, 2019, where senior officials of ALHW briefed them about the execution of the project.
Earlier, in the conference hall of ALHW, the Deputy Chief Engineer, Andaman Lakshadweep Harbour Works (ALHW), Smt. Mamata Jijith has explained about the Dry Dock Extension project through a power point presentation. Smt. Jijith said, the project "Extension of Dry Dock - II at Marine Dockyard including supply, installation and commissioning of Dry dock pumps and accessories in Port Blair, South Andaman" has been sanctioned by Ministry of Shipping under Central Sector Plan Scheme to the tune of Rs. 96.24 Cr with the stipulated date of completion of 42 months. The project has been awarded to M/s. RDS Project Ltd., Contractor, Port Blair by observing all the codal formalities and the preliminary work commenced at site since 07.03.2017. The scope of work will extend the existing dock by 90 more meters in length to accommodate more vessels and bigger vessels. This facility will double its capacity for ship repair facilities at Port Blair and generate employment opportunities as well as generate huge revenue to the islands. She said that presently 300 employees are working and due to this project 50 more employment will be generated.
The project envisages extension of Existing Dry Dock - II at Marine Dockyard by 90 x 20 x 8.50 mtr founding on RCC Bored piles including providing erecting & commissioning of various type of Mechanical equipments and Electrical installations. Construction of allied structures such as Dewatering pump house, Capstan house, Workshop buildings, Electrical Control room, Generator room, Crane parking shed, Vehicle parking shed, 02 nos. Overhead Tank of its 1.20 Lakhs Ltrs. capacity each at Dockyard I & II and an underground RCC sump of capacity of 1.20 Lakhs Litre. The Andaman Lakshadweep Harbour Works has set a deadline of 2021 for completion of the Dry Dock Extension at Marine Dockyard.
She further informed that, the ALHW has taken up a major project of extension of new dry dock - II at Marine Dockyard to augment existing ship repair facilities at Port Blair. Currently, the piling work of the project is in progress at dock area. In order to boost ship building & ship repairing industry and facilitate the "Make in India" initiative of the Govt. of India., the existing ship repair facilities at Port Blair are being augmented by extending the existing dock length".
In principle, the Ministry of Shipping has approved the proposed RCE for construction of the Extension of Dry Dock-II at Port Blair would be Rs.123.95 Crores which is 28.80% excess over the originally sanctioned cost and the time overrun to implement the extra work would be 24 months i.e. August 2021. After getting the in principle approval from Ministry, the work resumed at site during the month of September-2019. The works is in active progress and try to complete the full scope of the project before the extended targeted schedule of August 2021, the delegation was told.
The Executive Engineer (OS), Mr. P. Ramachandran, Assistant Engineer (Civil) Dry Dock Extn., S. Kasinathan, and Mr. P. Muthaiah, Executive Engineer, ALHW and media team were present on the on the occasion.

Pre-Application conference held at New Delhi for eco-tourism projects in A&N Islands

 New Delhi / Port Blair, Nov 13: The UT Administration of Andaman & Nicobar Islands organized a pre-application conference for four eco-tourism projects in Andaman in Long Island, Smith Island, Aves Island and Saheed Dweep and three eco-tourism projects in Lakshadweep in Minicoy Island, Suheli Island and Kadmat Island, today in New Delhi at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra. After a detailed feasibility study and investor's consultations over a period of one year, Request for Qualification (RFQ) documents of these eco-tourism projects were issued for PPP procurement in the month of October 2019.
The overwhelming response for the pre-application conference indicates huge interest for the projects among potential investors. Some of the potential investors and stakeholders present in today's conference are Oberoi Group, Taj Group of Hotels, ITC Hotels, Park Hotels, Royal Orchid, Bird Group of Hotels, Marriot, Indiabulls, J M Baxi Group, Girish Arora of Andaman Chambers of Commerce & Industries, Youth Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The Austrian Ambassador, H.E. Mrs. Brigitte Oppinger-Walchshofer was also present in the conference.
The CEO of NITI Aayog, Amitabh Kant, Shri Chetan B. Sanghi, Chief Secretary of Andaman & Nicobar UT and Shri S. Asker Ali, MD, SPORTS, Lakshadweep presented project propositions and interacted with stakeholders during the conference. It was clearly emphasized by NITI Aayog and respective UT Administrations that the objective is to create high end tourism destinations in an environmentally sustainable manner so that the ecology of the islands is fully protected. It was also emphasized that tourism activities in those islands will be governed by carrying capacity of the islands estimated by the government.
The applications for the projects are due in December 2019. It is expected that renewed international and domestic investors will participate in these unique and exclusive island development projects.

Amendment of Guidelines for operation of helmet Diving / Undersea-walk

Port Blair, Nov.13: The Directorate of IP&T intends to amend the existing 'Guidelines for Operation of Helmet Diving/Undersea-walk in A & N Islands'. The existing guidelines along with proposed amendment are placed in the official website of Tourism Department for comments/ suggestions/ opinion.
The tourism stakeholders/ adventure water sports operators/sea walk-Helmet dive operators are requested to send suggestions/comments/opinion to enhance and improve the existing guidelines, particularly in term of safety and security of tourists undertaking the activity. The suggestions/ comments/ opinion shall be submitted to the Directorate of Tourism on or before 25/11/2019.